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Construction Advancement Foundation Unveils 100% American-Made Building

The Construction Advancement Foundation (CAF) recently unveiled its new Construction Safety Institute building in Portage, IN. The building was built using only materials made in the U.S.A. The 7,000 square foot building will be used as both classroom space and hands-on workspace to educate individuals about safety technology.

"We believe this is the first 100% made-in-the-U.S.A. facility dedicated exclusively to safety training for safety professionals and field personnel," said CAF Executive Director Dewey Pearman.

CAF is a construction industry trade association that represents Northwest Indiana union contractors working on civil, commercial, and industrial projects. The goal of CAF is to promote the long-term health of the union construction industry in Indiana through certification, education, training, and workforce development. They are affiliated with over 500 contractor companies working in Lake, Porter, La Porte, Newton, Starke, and Jasper counties.

"We thought that designing an all-U.S.A. made building was going to be difficult," said Jim Arendas, Environmental Safety & Health Director for CAF. "But it was as easy as adding what we wanted as a stipulation in the construction documents. Everything in the building is U.S.A.-made; from the lights to the floors, the steel, the doors, windows, everything. It was easy, and it only cost us roughly 1 to 2% over what we would have spent otherwise."

The general contractor for the project, the Pangere Corporation, encountered a single challenge during the process of sourcing U.S.A.-made construction materials - they had to switch roofing systems after learning their original supplier's products had been made in Mexico. However, the roster of U.S.A. manufacturers was impressive and included such companies as Steel Dynamics & Nucor-Yamoto, Marshfield, Design Tanks, and Smith Ready Mix.

Pictured above at the ribbon cutting ceremony are, from left to right: Jim Arendas, CAF Environmental Safety & Health Director, Dan Szany, Architect, Steve Pangere, President and CEO of The Pangere Corporation, James Snyder, Mayor of Portage, IN, Joe Coar, Northwest Indiana Business Roundtable Executive Committee Chairman, Brad Niebert, CAF Board Member, Shawn Kelly, CAF Chairman, Dewey Pearman, CAF Executive Director.  To find out more about CAF, click here.